Architectural Conservation, Historic Preservation

Historic Restoration and Faux Finishes by Master Painting Contractor

Historic Preservation, Fine Painting.Performance and Value in Decorative Painting and Historic Restoration - -Washington, D.C., Virginia & Maryland

In our fourth decade in the painting trade, The Color Alchemist Company of Painters is a painting contractor in a direct lineage of a centuries old guild tradition.  Performance of a paint finish is the result of adherence to the highest standards and the application of experience accumulated over generations.  Embracing these principles, we employ our skills in the application of a wide range of faux finishes, historic preservation and in the restoration of fine homes and historic buildings. 

This approach to the work benefits our clients because quality work costs far less when one factors in performance over time.  A durable paint finish is not an accident, but rather the performance of a series of essential operations, each of which must be successfully executed for the result to be satisfactory.  Our work is guaranteed for five years, so we refuse to take chances with failure.

Color Alchemist Company of Painters serves the Washington DC area, Maryland and Virginia.  We welcome inquiries from discerning clients and patrons anywhere in the United States.

Comprehensive Solutions to Historic Restoration

Consider also that the painting company that you select will, in the course of paint preparation, perform a most thorough hands-on inspection of your building, quite possibly turning up repair and waterproofing issues.  Our commitment to the reliable performance of the paint film requires that these conditions will be properly understood and appropriately addressed, whether in house or through allied trades.  While not general contractors, the Color Alchemist Company of Painters adheres to a thoroughgoing and comprehensive approach to all painting substrate issues.

NEW!  Old Designs that Look Fresh Today

New to us!  We are very excited about these classical ornamental designs sent to us by a European friend, taken from a nineteenth century, German "pattern" book.  If you are looking for vibrant, striking, and yet traditional ideas for decorative painted ornament for walls and ceilings, you can't do better that to study the 75 images you'll find here.   Taken from a work entitled "Wasmuth's Neue Malereien", published in 1890 by Ernst Wasmuth, Berlin.

Under the Auspices of St. Luke, Patron Saint of the Ancient Painter's Guild

St. Luke, Patron Saint of Painters GuildsThe Color Alchemist Company of Painters was founded by John Learnard in the ongoing tradition of the ancient painting guilds of Europe.  A native of Washington D.C, John Learnard began his career apprenticed to master painters John Reed and Bill Condrey. For the first two years he was not allowed to touch a paintbrush, spending all of his time in sanding and prep!  As he advanced in skills, he determined to learn everything that the trade could teach, to his capacity.  He made multiple trips to England and was instructed by the late Bill Holgate, considered the world’s grand master in the application of faux finishes.  John also studied with other European teachers, Mike McNeil, Robert Woodland, Gilbert Downing and Don Grey, to name a few. 

The Color Alchemist Company of Painters operates under the auspices of St. Luke, the patron saint of the old painting guilds, represented by the sign of the bull.  He encourages us to remain humble enough to always learn something new and diligent enough to always apply what we have learned.

A Last Word About Quality:  Fine Paints of Europe

Finally, a word about materials.  For the best, longest lasting paint film possible, we use the best paint available:  Fine Paints of Europe, manufactured in Holland.  Cutting corners on paint quality is a poor economy because paint is such a relatively small part of the overall cost of an exterior finish.